The Population That Can’t Get the COVID-19 Vaccine in NH
As New Hampshire opens up vaccinations to every resident over the age of 16 who wants it on Friday there is one group that isn't eligible to get the jab: out of state college students.
New Hampshire is rapidly opening up its eligibility by adding those age 40-49 on Monday, age 30 to 39 on Wednesday and age 16 and older on Friday. Appointments can be made on the state's VINI vaccination website.
Gov. Chris Sununu urged patience for those trying to use the website on Monday and said improvements have been made to avoid the problems encountered by users last week.
"Instead of overrunning the system early in the morning, I ask individuals to consider registering during lower volume times to help ensure a smooth and orderly day for all registrants," Sununu said. A waiting room will be in use to give an idea of how long the wait is to make an appointment.
The governor also said that residents should only use one device to sign on otherwise the system will be slow.
New Hampshire is due to receive more 23,400 first doses and another 23,400 second does of the Pfizer vaccine, 13,700 first and second doses each of Moderna and 8,100 doses of the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine called Janssen, according to the CDC.
The governor said over 700 people were vaccinated an hour at the New Hampshire Motor Sports mass vaccination center in Loudon on Saturday towards a goal of administering 8,000 over the weekend.
The catch? You have to be a permanent New Hampshire resident at this point, according to Sununu.
States currently control the distribution and can set eligibility based on availability. While Maine also limits vaccinations to residents it is "free for all individuals" in Massachusetts, according to its COVID-19 vaccination website.
"If you're a resident of Colorado but you're going to school here, no, you cannot get the vaccine. You can go to Colorado and get the vaccine for Colorado residents. But you will not qualify for the vaccine here. This is for permanent New Hampshire residents.I'm sorry," Sununu said at his weekly coronavirus briefing on Thursday.
44% of UNH's students attending school at the Durham campus are from New Hampshire, according to the university website.
The governor said that by the time students are eligible in April they won't be in New Hampshire to receive the second dose as the academic year ends in May.
In his weekly Friday update to the community Durham town administrator Todd Selig whose population swells with UNH students would like the governor to "rethink this approach."
Selig thinks that the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a UNH-only vaccination POD similar to a recent clinic for Oyster River school district staff would "present significant public health benefits for host communities like Durham.
UNH announced that it plans to fully open back up for the 2021-22 academic year with "face-to-face classes in a residential learning environment and in-person campus activities, internships, field work and clinicals." The school said COVID-19 will likely not be eliminated by fall and encouraged students, faculty and staff to get a vaccine.
Sununu during the briefing said he expects vaccinations will be available by summer in every state so as the new academic year approaches the state will take another look to "make sure it's an easy glide path for anyone."
Rutgers University in New Jersey announced that all students attending on-campus classes in September will be required to prove they have received the vacciationation. Staff and faculty are "strongly encouraged" to get the shot but not required.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.